Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mummies and Egyptians

The Rosicrucian has the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in western North America
 For the third time, I helped chaperone a field trip to the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose and vowed  I would return again on my own time. I still have to make good on that promise - perhaps I'll buy a family membership for Christmas! The point is, it is a fantastic museum!

The museum is hidden in a quiet part of town
It has spacious rooms and plenty of educational signs
The museum has artifacts from the pre-dynastic through early Islamic eras (I confess my ignorance on what that really means). They concentrate on four broad topics in the museum: 
  1. Burial Practices, Afterlife and Mummies
  2. Gods and Religion
  3. Kings and Pharaohs
  4. Daily Life, Trade and Neighbors
They have a great website with much information including a summary of these different areas.

Here's a tiny example of some of the artifacts you can see at the Rosicrucian.

Statue of the Goddess Sekhmet
Royal rings - these are the real thing!

Egyptian writing on papyrus - amazing!

Ba Birds

And of course there's the mummies. This is how you bribe your kids to go to this museum - promise them they will see mummies!

 The museum guides are careful to explain that these mummies are not the scary ones you see running around in movies. These were made with respect and reverence for the dead.

A mummy Ox and cat (Egyptians loved their cats)

The wrappings on this mummy have been peeled back to reveal the actual remains.

Their website has a great page that explains the process of mummification. Check out "The making of a mummy: A real one!"

I love this museum! My daughter loved visiting the museum! My son loved visiting the museum! All the kids on the field trip seemed to enjoy their visit.  I can't recommend it enough (though I wouldn't recommend it for anyone under the age of seven, unless you want to rush through your tour).

You can sign up for workshops on the weekend (free with admission); you can download an audio tour from their fantastic website; you can become a junior archaeologist; and you can even walk through a composite replica of an ancient tomb. Have I said enough?

1660 Park Avenue
San Jose CA 95191

Admission:  $9.00 general admission*
$7.00 seniors 55 and older and students with I.D.
$5.00 children ages 5 - 10
free children under 5
* $1.00 discount on general admission for members of AAA, AAM, KQED, and Military

Photography:  the museum allows non-flash photography but they don't allow video, tripod or flash photography.

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